"Smoking after bleach" smell in soap

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MasheYesh

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Hello everyone đź‘‹
I am very new in this and just made my 2nd batch with a recipe I made up: 20% coconut oil, 15% neem oil, 5% castor oil and 60% olive oil.
I used soapcalc to calculate the weights of oils and lye and added activated charcoal and a little bit of lemon EO ( just a bit because it started to be very thick so I wanted to pour it to the mold quickly).
Now it has a smell that is the same one I used to get when smoking a cigarette after using bleach ( that is the only way I can describe it), it is a very nasty smell.
I used a PP plastic jar for mixing the oils with lye.
Do you have any thoughts about why it happened?
Any advice on how to fix it?
Thanks for the help
 
Neem oil is very stinky - that's probably what the smell is.
I use neem oil in other products I make, this is a very different smell. Neem smell is earthy this smell is much more acrid and chemical.
Is it possible for oil change scent so extremely?
 
Do you think it smells like ammonia? I sometimes get that smell if my soap gels - particularly if I use coconut milk in the recipe. It goes away after a week or so of curing.
Maybe, I will let it cure and see what happens. Thanks

The smell of my neem oil tends to change when combined with ye solution - much stronger and more acrid than on its own.
Is there any way to avoid or fix this?
 
Soaping cooler definitely helps, but mostly I have to wait for the smell to subside - or use less neem oil in the soap. I generally use 20%.
 
Soaping cooler definitely helps, but mostly I have to wait for the smell to subside - or use less neem oil in the soap. I generally use 20%.
I used 15% neem, and soaped at room temperature.
So what you are saying is that the smell will disappear while curing?
 
I used 15% neem, and soaped at room temperature.
So what you are saying is that the smell will disappear while curing?
I don't believe that the temperature is the issue, as much as the high alkalinity from the lye solution. I do use an FO or an EO blend that complements it well and tones it down.

I wouldn't say that the smell disappears during cure, but it definitely diminishes. Smell is very subjective, so some of us can stand it (me) and some of us cannot (@Ford). It also seems that different batches of neem oil smell differently, based on growing conditions and location, how it was harvested and processed, etc.
 
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...So what you are saying is that the smell will disappear while curing?

Not AliOop, but here's my answer -- Having made a number of batches with neem anywhere from 20% to 80%, I would never assume the neem odor will disappear. But it is pretty safe to assume the odor will soften and mellow with time.
 
I don't believe that the temperature is the issue, as much as the high alkalinity from the lye solution. I do use an FO or an EO blend that complements it well with it and tones it down.

I wouldn't say that the smell disappears during cure, but it definitely diminishes. Smell is very subjective, so some of us can stand it (me) and some of us cannot (@Ford). It also seems that different batches of neem oil smell differently, based on growing conditions and location, how it was harvested and processed, etc.
Thanks.
Any recommendations on EO that go well with neem in soap?
 
Any recommendations on EO that go well with neem in soap?
I've tried the Eucalyptus radiata + Litsea cubeba (may chang) combination used with 10% neem oil in this Elly's Everyday recipe and find that, as Elly says, it complements the strong neem odor quite well. I've not tried neem at higher percentages, though. It was all I could do to make myself use the small bottle that I bought, because the smell was so off-putting! However, the soap is 3 weeks old now and surprisingly pleasant. So far, the may chang has become more prominent to my nose, with the neem being kind of an earthy background — even though my EO mixture had a smaller portion of may chang than Elly's did (the usage rate according to EOCalc has gone down). :confused:

Despite my initial trepidation, I like the soap and fragrance very much and wouldn't hesitate to make it again!
 
Neem oil is very stinky - that's probably what the smell is.
I just used neem oil for the first time and I’m sorry but you were lowballing it. All my housemate heard the entire time I was making soap this evening was me muttering from the other room “Ugh, this stinks.” Indescribably bad.
 
I just used neem oil for the first time and I’m sorry but you were lowballing it. All my housemate heard the entire time I was making soap this evening was me muttering from the other room “Ugh, this stinks.” Indescribably bad.
For what it’s worth, I tried this soap this evening at a little over three weeks cure and surprisingly it didn’t make me gag. Okay I did gag a little, but that’s because my nostrils haven’t worked past the muscle memory of my initial experience. I didn’t add fragrance as I’m testing recipes for a friend with sensitive skin so am adding bare minimum of stuff and will work up from there. My bottle of neem may live to see another day!
 

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